Rule #1: Discounts Are Bad, Okay?


One of the first things that marketers jump to when faced with a sales challenge is discounts!


Discounts are one of the great brand destroyers and a crutch that has led to the destruction of the retail market as we know it.

Think about this, you create a product or service and set a price that you feel is fair for the value that you have worked to put into it. Then you turn around and start offering discounts, freebies, and other things that undercut the value you have been trying to create and that you designed as a tool to justify your price.


And, you see this same thing happen across industries.

Look at the world of sports business. Teams and leagues are fighting the battle of trying to win over season ticket holders, package holders, premium buyers, and win the battle for attention…and what do they do to the people that buy their products and services early?

They make them look stupid like by offering deep discounts and better offers to fans that hold out to the last minute.

What lesson have you taught your buyers?

Not to buy early.

Does this same situation apply to you?

The thing about discounts is that they do more than just train your customers to look for discounts and hold out for a better deal, they also undermine your brand value to your audience.

I’ve read in the past that as soon as you start discounting, your brand will need 7 years to overcome this perception in your market.

Is that one time deal worth the amount you are going to pay over the course of time?

I doubt it.

How do you overcome the seemingly simplistic payoff of a discount?

Here are a few ways:

1. Create more value:

If you are in a position that you need to discount, it is likely that you aren’t creating enough value for your audience.

So maybe you can create more value.

What are you selling?

Are there things you can add in that don’t add too much to your costs that have high perceived value? Or, can you partner with someone that wants to reach your audience on a giveaway?

Whatever it is, think about how you can increase the value you create in the mind of a buyer.

2. Are you selling to the right market:

Maybe you aren’t going to the right market.

If you haven’t identified the right buyers, maybe that is why you are having a hard time selling your wares.

What if you took a step back and asked the question: “Am I actually talking to buyers?”

You may find that you have been trying to sell to people that only have the ability to say no for far too long.

3. Does your value proposition cut through the noise?

Maybe your message isn’t getting through to your buyers because your value proposition isn’t clear.

Are you trying to discount to make up for the fact that you aren’t expressing your value clearly?

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